A Year and a Half Ago…

I was blissfully ignorant of what chaos the next few weeks/months would bring…
I had no idea how much fun I would be having 18 months later…
I knew only a little how much or how thoroughly I could love someone!

Must... Touch...

Happy 1 1/2 to my Quiet Lil’ Man! (I’m patient about that last bit Toby – Dad has no worries!)


Monthly Updates? No more…

*27 days?!* Sheesh… almost a month between updates! I’ll have to work on that in a big way. I tend to overthink my postings, and sometimes it takes me a couple hours to finalize one. Since it takes me so long, and I often don’t have big blocks of time to write something up (I’ll partially blame the topic of this site!), I end up with things like _27 day_ breaks between posts. Which is definately not what I’m wanting for here.

h3. POTD(picture of the day)

In fact, I think I’ll go a slightly different route with what has become the Toby journal starting sometime in the next week or so. Since a lot of you seem to enjoy the pictures (and with Toby being as cute as he is, I don’t blame you!), I’m going to start doing picture-of-the-day posts with a scattering of my longer thought posts instead of the big-article-many-picture style I started with.

In other words, I’m going to force you to stop by every day to get your Toby fix (or you’ll have to hit the “archives”:/archives/ to catch up)! I’m not going to _guarantee_ a new pic every day; I may miss a day or two here and there, but I’m going to at least try to keep it going, if for no other reason than to keep a historical record for our little guy when he gets older.

h3. Toby Updates

So, what’s Toby been up to in the last month, you may be asking? Well, let’s see how Dad’s memory is and see if I can remember all that’s occurred this month, shall we?

First off, he’s been growing like a weed. The last doctor’s visit almost two weeks ago showed him breaking into the double digits at a whopping 10 1/4 pounds. He’s stretching out quite a bit as well – just a hair over 20″. That’d be like me gaining 120 pounds and 7.5″ in a month. Amazing!

He’s stopped in to see a doctor or three as well this month:

Dr. Arkfeld checked his eyes out once again, and as I assumed, everythings going wonderful on the eye front.

Next up was the pediatric orthopedist (the doctor’s name escapes me) for his previously broken leg. Again, a good report – everythings seems to have healed just fine.

Dr. Green checked him out and was fairly amazed at his growth (or so it seemed to me). Told us Toby was doing wonderfully!

After visiting Dr. Green, he got his first round of vaccinations. *Four*(!) shots into our little guy. Two nurses tag teamed him and gave him two shots at a time. I’m not going to lie and say he took ’em quietly, but a minute or two later and he was fine. No obvious reaction afterwords, but he was maybe a touch crankier for a few days.

Toby’s been on a number of little trips as well lately, mainly to the grandparents so they can get their Toby fix (really, guys, we don’t mind you stopping by!). Just about every weekend we make a trip up to Dodge and -get our free meal- visit the grandfolks and spend a relaxing afternoon away from home. Not that we were out and about all the time before Toby, but it _is_ nice to get out now and then!

And really, that’s about all as far as Toby news goes. Outside of the above, he does his normal baby things – eat, sleep, pee, poop, stare at the ceiling (what’s he looking at?!), stare at Mom & Dad, stare at random items, cry ever so infrequently (did I mention he’s a very mellow baby unless you make him wait more than 10 seconds for food?), attempt to pull out Dad’s arm hair.

You know, just normal baby stuff! 🙂

Stop back soon for the beginning of the POTD(picture of the day)!

Miscellaneous POTD

one hundred k and change

Twelve Days and Counting

That’s how long our little guy has been with us here at home, and I would say we’ve adjusted pretty well so far! We’re all getting a reasonable amount of sleep, he’s eating his share (if not more than his share), no major (or, for that matter, few minor) disasters to speak of.

To The Doctors

Tuesday he had his first visit with Dr. Green, and showed off his eating skills with another milestone weight report – we’re now in possession of a six-pounder. Dr. Green did more anxiety alleviation with Mom and reassured her that formula was going to work just fine for him and not even think twice about it. So we won’t! Dr. Green did a full checkout on the little guy, and so we get Clean Bill of Health #1…

Thursday it was off to Omaha for two doctor appointments. Grandma O joined us on our journey, which made it possible for us to finally get Lynn’s Saturn out of the Methodist Hospital parking lot and back to West Point where it belonged.

Stop number one: Dr. Arkfeld, his ZZ-Top-bearded eye doctor. An extremely nice, extremely good doctor whose appearance makes you do a double take – dressed to the T, long starting-to-gray beard & hair. Toby had to get a couple rounds of dialating drops (which he absolutely hates). Followed by having his eyes held open with small, well, eye openers (think the contraption used in the brainwashing scene in “Clockwork Orange”: for those of you who’ve seen it). Followed by some bright lights shined into his eyes to check his retinal blood vessel growth. Needless to say, he enjoyed this not one bit, but it was over quickly (like I said, very good doctor) and he settled down immediately afterwards. Everything seems to be developing appropriately at this point, with another checkup due in four weeks. So, we receive Clean Bill of Health #2…

Stop number two: Dr. Quilnan for a followup on the outer ear infection Toby had when he came home with us. Five days of drops that he didn’t even really notice except for us having to turn his head to the side apparently took care of it, as a cursory inspection revealed. No followup was deemed necessary, so, Clean Bill of Health #3 is ours…

And that wraps up his doctor appointments for the time being. He’s due for a ‘Well Baby Checkup’ from Dr. Green in a couple weeks, the aforementioned eye checkup from Dr. Arkfeld, and a followup on his previously broken leg in a month. But so far, we have a perfectly healthy little babe!

Toby’s Goings On

So, what else has he (and consequently, us) been up to?

First off, he’s decided it isn’t too bad to sleep on a flat surface, so he’s spent a bit of time in his crib, a bit more of his time in his playpen (which has a nice flat raised sleeping area), and very little time in his bouncer (aka the only place he’d sleep early on). He’d probably be just fine in his crib whenever he sleeps, but we like having him in the playpen bed since it’s in our living room and thus closer to us than the crib. What can I say – I like him where I can check on him with just a glance!

He’s gotten a bath or two, and finally, we have a naked baby picture:

Naked Toby!

He really enjoys his baths, except for the very last step, when we take him out and put him in a towel. Those few seconds between being enveloped in the water and being enveloped in the dry towel are guaranteed crabby time for him! 😉

He’s had a visitor or two (or 5) over the last week or so. Of course, the grandparents stop in now and then to ‘check on us’ (yeah, right, we know you’re there to play with the grandson, no use in lying!). Our good friend Mary stopped in Saturday night (of course, I forgot to snap a pic or two), and spent most of the afternoon/evening with us. She even watched over the little guy for an hour or two so that we could go out and have a nice dinner (it already feels odd to be away from him).

Outside of those few events, he’s mostly been sleeping, eating, or getting a little exercise with his “Boppy”: and hanging out with his friendly neighborhood turtle:

Toby and his turtle

Toby and his turtle

Toby chews on the Boppy

Toby just chillin’ [1]

Toby just chillin’ [2]

Toby just chillin’ [3]

Toby just chillin’ [4]

Toby just chillin’ [5]

Mom checks on a sleeping Toby

one hundred k and change?

‘So, what’s with the title of this post?’ you’re asking youself. Earlier this week, we received a nice little itemized 21 page(!) bill of his first 44 days:

21 pages!

And the grand total?


And worth every penny!

Now the test of our insurance begins…

Miscellaneous POTD

and he arrives home

h4. Homeward Bound

At long last, Tobias makes his triumphant return home! Wednesday, Apri 21st, 5:30pm, after 44 long days, Mom, Dad, & Toby at long last leave the hospital bound for home, for good.

An agonizingly long car ride later, and we showed Toby his new digs. And he proceeded to show his displeasure by keeping us up all night fussing and crying and making us question our desire to ever have this little boy.

So, Wednesday/Thursday weren’t our best days (nights). Apparently he’s adjusted to his surroundings quickly though – the last few days have been getting easier and easier. Sleep & eat & change a diaper & sleep & eat & change a diaper etc. etc. Repeat. Throw in the occassional play time to make it all worthwhile. It’s hasn’t been the smoothest transition any of us has had, but it certainly is getting much better! It took us a couple days, but we’re definately starting to relax and enjoy him rather than just take care of him.

*edit*: reading that last bit afterwords makes it sound like it’s been pure hell – it definately hasn’t been *that* bad. It just felt like it at times! 😉

h4. Visitors

Thankfully, we have an abundance of help nearby – both sets of grandparents, a brother and sister-in-law, multiple nieces, all within 20 miles of us. The grandmas have made a number of visits in an effort to reassure the new mom that she is going to be a wonderful mother (ok, and the new dad a bit too). Grandpa F’s dropped in a time or two to check on his potential future farmer. Lynn’s brother Gary stopped by to check on us (of course, I missed him entirely, being passed out at the time).

And me being me, I forget to take any pictures of our visitors with the little guy, finally remembering once with Grandma O…

p(images). !/images/11.jpg (Toby peeks at Grandma Oelkers 1)!:/images/10.jpg

p(images). !/images/13.jpg (Toby peeks at Grandma Oelkers 2)!:/images/12.jpg

p(images). !/images/8.jpg (Toby peeks at Grandma Oelkers 3)!:/images/9.jpg

h4. Feeding

Mom initially had grand plans to breastfeed the little guy. Unfortunately, Toby didn’t agree, and made it a very stressful experience for both Mom and himself. Were he full term and full strength, it might have been a different story. But alas, he wasn’t and isn’t…

So, we’ve decided to forego the torture to both of them and bottle feed him. Right now, he’s still getting expressed breast milk via his bottle, but eventually we’ll be switching him over to some type of formula. Needless to say, Mom and Toby both are much happier with the arrangement!

p(images). !/images/16.jpg (Mom gives Toby a bottle)!:/images/17.jpg

h4. Crib? What Crib?

He’s also decided to be a little stinker and refuses to sleep (for long periods of time anyway) in his beautiful new crib right now. Luckily, we happened to pick up a bouncer/bassinet for him while he was in the hospital, and he seems perfectly content to sleep in that for the time being. And damn if he isn’t the cutest thing… 🙂

p(images). !/images/4.jpg (Toby checks out some toys)!:/images/5.jpg

p(images). !/images/14.jpg (Toby takes a nap 1)!:/images/15.jpg

p(images). !/images/18.jpg (Toby takes a nap 2)!:/images/19.jpg

Miscellaneous POTD

more visitors, more cute pics, and big news!

h4. More Visitors

Sunday the 18th Toby had a few more visitors – Grandma and Grandpa Oelkers stopped in to check on the little guy. Grandpa O somehow made it through another tax season (you people work crazy hours) and finally fought off his every-tax-season nasty cold, and got to check out the newest addition to the Oelkers gene pool.

p(images). !/images/tobyandgrandpaoelkers_sm.jpg(Grandpa O & his grandson)!:/images/tobyandgrandpaoelkers_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobyandgrandpaoelkers2_sm.jpg(Is that the start of a widow’s peak I see?)!:/images/tobyandgrandpaoelkers2_lg.jpg

h4. Just Some Cute Pics

As he’s gotten more mature, he’s also gotten more, well, interactive. Instead of sleeping almost all the time, now he occassionally feels the need just to look around. And Dad can’t help but harrass the little cutie when he notices…

p(images). !/images/tobycute1_sm.jpg(Who’s that I see awake?)!:/images/tobycute1_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobycute2_sm.jpg(Dad goes in for a little harrassment)!:/images/tobycute2_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobycute3_sm.jpg(Pucker Face Toby)!:/images/tobycute3_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobycute4_sm.jpg(More Pucker Face Toby)!:/images/tobycute4_lg.jpg

h4. Big News

And the big news? At long last, our little one’s making the trip home! We haven’t been filled in on the exact day, but sometime between Wednesday and Friday has been mentioned several times by several people. It’s basically dependent on how his weight gain goes – if it’s up steadily when they check, it’ll be sooner; if it’s a little slower going up, could be a little later. Either way, it certainly isn’t going to be long!

Other (related) news: no more feeding tube as of today… 🙂 He’s basically on-demand feeding now, eating whenever he wants. Mind you, if he decides to go too long without eating (four hours, specifically), we’re to wake him and make sure he eats, but so far that hasn’t become an issue as far as I know (Dad stayed in West Point today attempting to ready the apartment for his imminent arrival, so all this is second hand info from Mom, but she’s a fairly good reporter!).

So, it’s time to be actual full-time parents. And, what do you know, I’m much more excited now than anxious… I think we’ll all be just fine! 🙂